KTM Singapore Sector 10 Years On: Walking the Rail Corridor from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Kranji Gate on 30 June 2021

10th Anniversary of KTM Singapore Sector Closure

30 June 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the closure of the KTM Singapore Sector. To commemorate a decade of the removal of the railways in Singapore, I decided to walk the recently-reopened Rail Corridor from south to north as far as reasonably practicable.

Since the day would have came and gone without fanfare, I decided that there should at least be a few people in Singapore who should remember the day, and I will be one of them.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (Cantonment MRT Station)

I started my 24km walk from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, getting here by bus from HarbourFront MRT Station.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is the site of the future Cantonment MRT Station on the Circle Line, so all of the station is currently closed for putting the MRT under it.

The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building is now owned by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).

Seems like some refurbishment works are going on with the clock at he side of the station building.

The current facade of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station 10 years on.

The front facade view of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is currently blocked by the Circle Line Stage 6 site office.

Circle Line 6 Project Information Centre

The former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station car park is now taken up by the Circle Line 6 Project Information Centre and site office.

An old lamppost of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station still sits inside the Circle Line 6 Project Information Centre and site office.

M. Hasan Railway Food Canteen served up the best Malaysian food in Singapore right on Platform 1.

The rest of the back of the station is now hoarded up with tall sound-reduction hoardings and sound barriers for the construction of Cantonment MRT Station.

Heading up Spottiswoode Park Road towards Kampong Bahru Yard.

Sri Muneswarar Peetam Hindu Temple

Sri Muneswarar Peetam Hindu Temple was the former Hindu temple located inside Kampong Bahru Yard, which has since moved to 16 Ubi Road 4, Singapore 408624.

As compared with last year, the green railing in front of the former staircase down to Sri Muneswarar Peetam Hindu Temple has been replaced, which is now flushed throughout the sheltered walkway.

Kampong Bahru Yard

Kampong Bahru Yard now houses the platform roofs of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station while construction of Cantonment MRT Station is under way.

Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal (Royal Malaysian Customs)

Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal opened on 10 March 2018 on the site of the former Federal Customs Collection Station of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal is a good initial pit stop for a toilet and water break with toilets and water coolers readily available to fill up my bottle for the walk north. You may also purchase food and drinks from the NTWU Canteen.

The Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal and realigned Spooner Road sits on the former freight lines in Kampong Bahru Yard.

Rail Corridor Entrance at Spooner Road

The current southernmost Rail Corridor entrance is located opposite Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal on Spooner Road with an unceremonious footpath. In future, the southernmost Rail Corridor end should be Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (Cantonment MRT Station) once the underground circle has been closed up.

Passing by the former coach shed.

Passing by the former Railway Recreation Club.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Signal Cabin

The path from Spooner Road leads to after the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Signal Cabin, and to get to the actual end of the track alignment at this current time, backtracking is needed.

The path from the signal cabin to the track has been removed.

A very overgrown fence to the point of collapsing under the weight of the plants.

Preserved bungalows behind the hoarding.

The current end of the track is just before the CCL6 construction near the junction of Keppel Road and AYE. Do note that unlike pins placed on Google Maps, there is no access from this end to or from Keppel Road.

There’s a hole in the hoarding where the door is, so I poked my camera in for a look at the old signal cabin.

Now to start my Rail Corridor walk north to Kranji from the southernmost possible starting point.

No token to collect for my walk from the signal cabin.

There are ongoing works for the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 at the Kampong Bahru Yard.

The 2 blocks of KTM Spooner Road flats now function as HDB rental flats.

Passing under Kampong Bahru Road.

Kampong Bahru Road Access Point

There is a gentle dirt slope from Kampong Bahru Road beside Block 2 Melati (now no longer bearing the name) to access the Rail Corridor.

Passing under the Central Expressway (CTE).

The level headshunts from the Kampong Bahru Yard have now been filled up according to the gradient of the main line.

The end of the headshunt has also become so overgrown that the sunken look of the headshunt now looks as if it’s a garden with a fence instead.

The end of the level headshunt from Kampong Bahru Yard.

Block 138 Jalan Bukit Merah Access Point

There is a dirt path with steps from Block 138 Jalan Bukit Merah to access the Rail Corridor.

Taking the first curve out of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station vicinity.

Passing under Lower Delta Road.

Contrary to recent popular belief, this is not a train platform as the track was fairly far away from it.

Lower Delta Road Access Point

There is a steep dirt slope from Lower Delta Road down to the Rail Corridor. Use with caution and with a hiking stick if necessary.

Suggested nearby rest stop: 1080 Eating House Coffee Shop

Passing under the Block 16 Telok Blangah Crescent – Lower Delta Road pedestrian overhead bridge.

Passing under Henderson Road.

Henderson Road Access Point

There is a steep dirt slope from Henderson Road down to the Rail Corridor. Use with caution and with a hiking stick if necessary.

Passing by a manicured stretch of Rail Corridor behind Bukit Merah Bus Interchange.

While buses can be seen and heard clearly, there is no access from Bukit Merah Bus Interchange to the Rail Corridor.

Passing under the San Jiang Gong Ci Temple – Lower Delta Road pedestrian overhead bridge.

Jalan Kilang Barat Diversion

Approaching Jalan Kilang Barat, I was met with a hoarding up ahead.

Thankfully, this was just a slight diversion for a minute off the Rail Corridor, with a temporary path built around the construction site.

The temporary diversion also functions as an access point parallel from Jalan Kilang Barat to the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre

The small construction site is part of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2.

Jalan Kilang Barat Access Point

On the normal “alignment”, the Jalan Kilang Barat access point to the Rail Corridor is made up of this gravel path.

Suggested nearby rest stop: ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre

Bukit Merah Lane 3 Access Point

There is a gentle dirt track from Bukit Merah Lane 3 between Block 1002 and Block 1010 to access the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Alexandra Village Food Centre

The Rail Corridor is not just used by joggers or cyclists.

Passing under Alexandra Road.

Alexandra Road Access Point

There is a steep dirt and gravel track from Alexandra Road beside AIA Alexandra to access the Rail Corridor.

The rail holding up the KM779 kilometer post still stands today, albeit being taken over by vines.

There is another dirt track from Alexandra Road beside the AYE exit to access the Rail Corridor.

The start of the Hang Jebat Curve or Alexandra Curve, both colloquially known rather than officially named as.

There is yet another dirt track from Alexandra Road beside the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) exit to access the Rail Corridor. The last ditch looks solid but is actually thick mud, so beware. I spent a week cleaning off my shoe the last time I stepped in it a couple of months back.

Passing under AYE Exit 6.

Curving away from the vehicular noise from the AYE since the start of the walk.

I’m not sure if this was a gradient marker. It looks railway-ish but it’s also quite far from where the track  alignment was.

Passing by black and white houses on Warwick Road.

Masjid Hang Jebat

Another icon along the railway, Masjid Hang Jebat still stands since it was not on Malaysian land before.

This would have been another good water and toilet point without COVID-19, but due to Phase Three (Heightened Alert) Precautionary Measures for Religious Activities, the mosque remains closed outside of prayer times.

There is an information panel for Masjid Hang Jebat as part of the My Queenstown Heritage Trail.

Jalan Hang Jebat – Queen’s Crescent Access Point

There is a paved path linking Jalan Hang Jebat and Queen’s Crescent serving Masjid Hang Jebat, which can also be used as a Rail Corridor access point.

Queensway – Portsdown Avenue Access Point

There is a semi-paved dirt path from the staircase down from the junction of Queensway and Portsdown Avenue to access the Rail Corridor. Previously, this was used to access the Sri Thandavaalam Muneeswaran Alayam Shrine.

Heading under Queensway and Portsdown Avenue. Even though there is a busy junction right above, it is very quiet under the giant flyover. It also gets very dark here even with the noon sun shining outside – can’t imagine what it would be like at night.

Heading out of the darkness right back into the noontime sun.

Commonwealth Park Access Point

There is a paved path from Commonwealth Park to access the Rail Corridor, which is currently also being upgraded.

Commonwealth Green – Woking Road Access Point

There is a paved path connecting Commonwealth Green and Woking Road which can also be used to access the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Tanglin Halt Food Centre

There is an information panel for the former Malayan Railways here on the Commonwealth Green end of the footpath as part of the My Queenstown Heritage Trail.

A mixed goods train hauled by a 20 Class locomotive photographed passing by the Tanglin Halt estate.

No no no, the ABC sidings were only serving godowns and not considered a station. Only Tanglin Halt can be considered a “station” in the non-technical sense of the word.

Commonwealth Drive Block 72 – Wilton Close Access Point

There is a dirt and gravel path connecting Commonwealth Drive Block 72 and Wilton Close which can also be used to access the Rail Corridor.

I think I took a split second longer to figure out what “slow your wheels” meant, it would have just been easier to write “slow down” instead.

Biomedical Grove Access Point

There is a staircase from Biomedical Grove down to the Rail Corridor.

There is a staggered junction here which makes it an accident prone area.

Tanglin Halt Road Access Point

There is a paved path from Tanglin Halt Road up to the Rail Corridor.

I don’t recall the railway track to be so snaky. Wonder what’s the caution going to be like at this area if I were a train.

After the actual Tanglin Halt, the rest of Tanglin Halt estate is also being flattened.

Tanglin Halt

A new vehicular flyover connecting Holland Avenue and North Buona Vista Drive has been built but not opened for traffic yet. This sits right above where Tanglin Railway Halt used to stand.

The Rail Corridor track has also been lowered to pass under this vehicular flyover with a good height clearance.

An estimated view of Tanglin Railway Halt from the track alignment.

The old Tanglin Railway Halt station building before the closure of the railway.

Passing under the new vehicular bridge, yet to be named.

Looks like a future wide rest area for the Rail Corridor here.

You can see the lowering of the “track bed” clearly with a line across the current paved track.

Passing under the East West Line MRT viaducts beside Buona Vista MRT Station.

Bus Stop 11181 Opp Blk 43 Access Point

There is a dirt and gravel path from Bus Stop 11181 Opp Blk 43 to access the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Holland Drive Market and Food Centre

Buona Vista MRT Station Exit B Access Point

There is a muddy path with concrete drain covers on it, used as stepping stones on the mud, from Buona Vista MRT Station Exit B directly to the Rail Corridor. If only there was a commuter railway to interchange seamlessly with the East West Line and Circle Line today.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Buona Vista MRT Station & Buona Vista Xchange

Heading under Commonwealth Avenue.

Sus.

I’m not sure if this graffiti is official or vandalism.

Heading under North Buona Vista Road.

An old telegraph support still hangs below the bridge.

Buona Vista MRT Station Exit A Access Point

The underpass outside of Buona Vista MRT Station Exit A leads to a gravel path to the Rail Corridor. This gives a better northbound access from Buona Vista MRT Station.

Passing under the Ghim Moh Road – North Buona Vista Road pedestrian overhead bridge.

Ghim Moh Road Access Point

There is a dirt path connecting the footpath between Ghim Moh Road and Ghim Moh Road – North Buona Vista Road pedestrian overhead bridge to the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Ghim Moh Road Market & Food Centre

East Sussex Lane Access Point

There is a dirt path from East Sussex Lane to the Rail Corridor.

Passing under the Ghim Moh Road – East Sussex Lane pedestrian overhead bridge.

Block 5 Ghim Moh Road – East Sussex Lane Access Point

There are dirt paths from both ends of the Block 5 Ghim Moh Road – East Sussex Lane pedestrian overhead bridge to the Rail Corridor. I guess residents have been using this as a shortcut to climbing stairs now that there are no trains to deal with.

Passing by the Ministry Of Education Headquarters (Mount Sinai).

Passing the backyards of houses along Jalan Jelita.

Jalan Jelita Access Point

Concrete tiles in between 31 Jalan Jelita and 33 Jalan Jelita make up a path from Jalan Jelita down to the Rail Corridor.

A familiar landmark on approach to Bukit Timah Railway Station, which also makes for a good pit stop on the walk.

Holland Road (Jelita) Access Point

A concrete pedestrian path leads down from Holland Road beside Caltex Holland down to the Rail Corridor.

Suggested nearby rest stop: Caltex Holland & Cold Storage Jelita

This is a good pit stop along the Rail Corridor walk for a toilet and refreshment break.

Caltex Holland

Caltex Holland is located just beside the Rail Corridor access point.

The nearest toilet is available inside Caltex Star Mart. You can get drinks and snacks here too if you don’t wish to walk to the neighbouring Cold Storage Jelita.

Heading back to the Rail Corridor after filling up my water bottle.

Passing under Holland Road.

Not sure what this concrete thing is for.

The Rail Corridor still gets busy on a weekday noon.

Bukit Sedap Road Access Point

There is a dirt path from Bukit Sedap Road up to the Rail Corridor.

Greenleaf View Access Point

There is a gravel path from the corner of Greenleaf Walk and Greenleaf View up to the Rail Corridor.

Passing under Holland Road.

The final right curve towards Bukit Timah Railway Station.

Holland Road (Ewart Park – Greenleaf Walk) Access Point

There is a dirt and gravel path from Holland Road near Ewart Park and Greenleaf Walk down to the Rail Corridor.

There’s another access point down ahead but this looks like coming from the Bukit Timah Diversion Canal construction site and not really for easy public access.

Yeah, definitely not a straight path any more on the main line.

Bukit Timah Diversion Canal Wetlands

A new addition to the Rail Corridor, the Bukit Timah Diversion Canal was constructed after the closure of the railway, with a new man-made Bukit Timah Diversion Canal Wetlands built near the Rail Corridor at he confluence of 2 man-made canals.

Not being in KL for so long made me thought this was a mirage of the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers in the distance with a STAR LRT flying on top.

Bukit Timah Diversion Canal

The Bukit Timah Diversion Canal diverts water away from Bukit Timah Canal (which leads to Marina Reservoir), goes under the Rail Corridor, and leads to Sungei Ulu Pandan towards Pandan Reservior, which is why there’s this new stretch of grass now.

So contrary to popular nonsense belief, this is not the alignment or junction to the Jurong Line.

I’m not sure if this is a link to Bukit Timah Diversion Canal Wetlands and Holland Green Linear Park.

Awkwardly swinging right to an approach I might be very familiar with.

Bukit Timah Railway Station

The Rail Corridor path changes patterns on approach to Bukit Timah Railway Station. Note that this is the current Rail Corridor vicinity of Bukit Timah Railway Station and not the location of the southern point of the loop line.

A new “loop line” under construction leading to the Station Master’s Bungalow.